Vincent, Kathrine Narducci, Mike Starr, Armand Assante.
While Chicago Overcoat
lacks the powerful stories that Casino and Goodfellas both
hits, it makes up for it with great cinematography.
The movie follows the story of aging mobster Lou Marazano, a
Chicago wiseguy who spends his golden years handling
collections instead of sitting at the head of the table.
Played by Frank Vincent, Lou lives a modest life, focusing on
the well-being of his daughter and grandson.
Realizing his need to retire, Lou dusts off his guns for a
final series of contract killings to keep his boss from doing
hard time. But tension mounts as friends become enemies, and a
veteran detective picks up his scent.
The good news is that Chicago Overcoat was shot surprisingly
well. There's quality cinematography, great use of shadows,
and an overall noir vibe. This was director Brian Caunter's
first feature film after shooting several shorts, and he does
an excellent job with the movie's visuals.
Frank Vincent, better known as New York boss Phil Leotardo
from the Sopranos, offers a solid performance as an old-school
mobster. Armand Assante only gets a few minutes of screen time
as Lou's imprisoned family boss, but he gives his brief
performance his all. Vincent is also reunited with
former Sopranos actress Kathrine Narducci (Charmaine Bucco),
who stars as Lou's beautiful former mistress.
The film isn't without problems, however, and that's why it
never made it into theaters. The first issue is that the
story isn't particularly original or moving. It's not a boring
flick, but it simply lacks spark. Too many aspects of the
movie are what we've seen in Heat, Goodfellas, and a number of
other mob flicks.
The other problem is that some of the cast is too weak to keep
up with Frank Vincent and Kathrine Narducci. Danny Goldring is
horribly miscast as the liquored-up and obsessed detective hot
on Lou's heels. Much of the cast playing connected guys
exaggerate their performance, which gives the film a
low-budget feel. Vincent himself gives a good
performance, but isn't given opportunities to show much range.
DVD Extras include a Q&A with the cast and crew on their
definition of a "Chicago Overcoat", and a behind-the-scenes
look at one of the movie's more memorable shootout moments. It
also includes a variety of deleted scenes, as well as an
If you're making your way
to a Redbox kiosk tonight, this is probably one of the
best-shot movies that you're going to find there. Even
if the story won't grab you like other classic mob flicks,
it's definitely worth a rent.